Sometimes attempts at viral, word-of-mouth marketing can go too far. Turner Broadcasting thought it had come up with a slick way of promoting a show on Adult Swim by placing glowing signs featuring one of the show's characters all around the city of Boston. There was just one problem: with everyone so on edge these days about terrorism and suspicious objects, the signs drew out the bomb squads, and much of the city's infrastructure ground to a halt. Highways, commuter rail lines and the subway were all affected, as crews responded to worried phone calls throughout the city. The city's response is very similar to when some girls were arrested for playing a real-life version of the game Super Mario Brothers, which involved them placing boxes with question marks all around their neighborhood. While this latest stunt is bringing a lot of publicity to Turner Broadcasting, it's safe to say that this isn't what they hoped to see happen. The company will almost certainly face fines and other legal sanctions for tying up the city's anti-terrorism resources. Perhaps the marketing department at Turner Broadcasting needs to audit that college course on viral marketing.
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